Saturday 23 March 2019

Highways England to join West Midlands enforcement efforts

Traffic officers working for Highways England may stop commercial vehicle drivers on West Midlands motorways, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced, following a new agreement between the two agencies.

DVSA and Highways England say they will work together on enforcement efforts around lorries, vans, buses and coaches, while also sharing automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) data and other intelligence in real-time – in a move claimed to improve road safety and drive more effective use of public funds.

The announcement follows a successful trial in the same area.

Previously, stopping duties would only have been performed by DVSA vehicles or the police. But now marked Highways England vehicles will also participate in bringing vehicles into check sites, where DVSA examiners can inspect for problems including load security breaches, drivers’ hours offences, defects and overloading.

To enable the change, DVSA has delegated its stopping warrant to Highways England, meaning that failure to stop for its vehicles could result in court action or traffic commissioners’ attention, in the same way that failing to pull over at the request of DVSA’s own vehicles might.

“The main winner here is road safety,” said DVSA director of enforcement Marian Kitson.

“Working so closely with Highways England has been a great success. It makes perfect sense for those with similar skills, resources and goals to support each other in this way.

“This partnership means we have a wider network of stopper vehicles to hunt down that minority of rogue operators who put profit before safety.”

Gina Lawrence, project manager at Highways England, added:  “We see this as enhancing the important work our traffic officers already do in dealing with incidents and helping to keep our roads moving.

“We have worked with DVSA to improve the efficiency of the vehicle check site which has supported our goal of improving commercial vehicle safety on the strategic road network.

“We are pleased this will now become business as usual in the West Midlands.”

Image: DVSA Crown copyright

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